Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Cultural Differences in Breakfast Food


Sure, anyone can have pizza for lunch but there is something about breakfast choice that is cultural and deeply personal. Of all the foods, I found breakfast to be the most difficult to adjust when I first traveled to the U.S.  In Japan, breakfast is substantial and intricate: a bowl of rice or rice porridge, soup, pickles, grilled fish, poached egg, and other side dishes that required both time and care to prepare.

Because breakfast is the first meal of the day, there is more of a routine that surrounds it, and deviating from it throws you off your game. Even when you get used to eating another style of breakfast, some cravings, if not for flavor, for a ritual remain. I crave for a more substantial meal and a hot liquid, rather than cold cereal with milk.

Then I wondered if one can morph a Japanese breakfast Western enough for a Westerner to be able to enjoy it without any hesitation. I got thinking about it because I remembered some gender psychology research that “feminized” trucks enough for girls to prefer playing with trucks, and found similar ways to make toys traditionally marketed to girls for boys (e.g., pink trucks lined with plush fabric).

Looking at various websites and articles that featured breakfast foods around the world, however, I saw that it would be difficult to customize a breakfast dish of one country to make it look like another’s, in the same way you can put some oyster sauce and sesame oil on a steak to make it taste Asian vs. some Hollandaise sauce.

Photo: Sekiya’s restaurant in front of Ise Shrine, Mie, Japan

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2015 by in Culture, Food and tagged .
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